Top 100 Players

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Top 10 undrafted players entering 2021 NFL season

NFL Network's "Top 100 Players of 2021" premieres Sunday, Aug. 15 and will air over three consecutive weekends. Players ranked 100-41 will be revealed Sunday over the course of six hours -- each one-hour episode unveiling a new set of 10 honorees -- beginning at 4 p.m. ET. Two undrafted players make an appearance in the list, which is voted on by the players themselves, between Nos. 100 and 91. With that in mind, NFL Network analyst and Super Bowl champion Shaun O'Hara -- a former undrafted player himself -- provides his own ranking of the league's top 10 undrafted players heading into the 2021 regular season.

Rank
10
David Andrews
New England Patriots · C

Andrews is one of the most overlooked players on the Patriots' roster after missing time in each of the past two seasons. He was sidelined by a hand injury for four games last season after sitting out the entire 2019 campaign with blood clots in his lungs. Entering 2021, Andrews is the centerpiece of an O-line ranked third by Pro Football Focus and should set the tone for a rejuvenated offense.

Rank
9
Anthony Harris
Philadelphia Eagles · S

After leading the league in INTs in 2019, Harris had a letdown season in Minnesota while playing on the franchise tag in 2020. He signed a one-year, prove-it deal with the Eagles this offseason. The success of the Philadelphia defense will depend on its health, something the team hasn't been able to sustain since its Super Bowl run. If the Eagles can keep their defensive stars on the field, Harris is primed to have a bounce-back year as he reunites with Eagles DC Jonathan Gannon, who was the Vikings' assistant defensive backs coach during Harris' first three seasons.

Rank
8
Alejandro Villanueva
Baltimore Ravens · OT

After starting 90 consecutive games for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 2015-2020, Villanueva is taking his talents to rival Baltimore and switching from left to right tackle. It should be a smooth transition for the two-time Pro Bowl selectee, a well-respected player whose mindset and style of play fits the Ravens' run-first offense well.

Rank
7
Chris Harris
Los Angeles Chargers · CB

Harris was arguably one of the best cornerbacks in the league as a member of the No Fly Zone in Denver. He returns for his second season with the Chargers after missing seven games in 2020 with a foot injury. Under new head coach Brandon Staley, Harris is expected to play outside, in the slot and some strong safety. His experience should help rookie corner Asante Samuel Jr. in his development at the next level. The one-time All-Pro and four-time Pro Bowl selectee still has the ability to be effective, and he should be an important piece of a loaded defense in 2021.

Rank
6
Robby Anderson
Carolina Panthers · WR

Coming off his first 1,000-yard season, Anderson enters 2021 with a lot of confidence and a familiar face at quarterback in Sam Darnold. The veteran receiver made 102 catches for 1,531 receiving yards in two seasons with Darnold in New York (2018-19), and he should benefit greatly with the big-armed quarterback running Matt Rhule's offense. Having Christian McCaffrey back healthy should also help Anderson's production. The dynamic running back demands attention in the box, which will leave the speedy wideout against single coverage downfield. All of these factors should set Anderson up for another career performance in the final year of his contract.

Rank
5
Cole Beasley
Buffalo Bills · WR

Beasley has been a steady offensive weapon throughout his nine-year career, but he had his most productive season in 2020, posting 107 targets, 82 receptions and 967 receiving yards (each ranked second on the Bills behind Stefon Diggs). Beasley played an instrumental role in the Bills' return to the top of the AFC East in 2020, leading the NFL in receptions (78) and receiving yards (948) from the slot, according to Next Gen Stats. Beasley has established himself as a reliable target for Josh Allen, especially on third down, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him build on his success from last season in 2021.

Rank
4
Adam Thielen
Minnesota Vikings · WR

Thielen has become a huge receiving threat for the Vikings since his 2016 breakout campaign. He's coming off a 14-TD performance and could serve as Kirk Cousins' favorite red-zone target again this year thanks to his route-running skills and elite hands. Thielen should benefit from lining up opposite Offensive Rookie of the Year runner-up Justin Jefferson, who avoided a major injury in training camp last week, as a routine chain-mover in this explosive offense.

Rank
3
Justin Tucker
Baltimore Ravens · K

Tucker is the Mariano Rivera of NFL closers, as he's eliminated the what-if factor in the kicking game. Go ahead and lock in points for the Ravens if they get within his range -- and maybe even if they're a little bit outside of it. According to Pro Football Reference, he has converted 90.7 percent of his career field goals, the highest rate in NFL history. That's an incredible feat considering the four-time All-Pro has played his entire career in the daunting weather of AFC North cities.

Rank
2
Austin Ekeler
Los Angeles Chargers · RB

Everybody talks about Justin Herbert and his tremendous rookie season, and rightfully so, but Ekeler has been outstanding since taking over the full-time role in the backfield. While he's proven to be reliable on first and second down, his biggest strength is as a receiver out of the backfield -- an asset new Chargers offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi will love to use in his system. Ekeler's talent behind a retooled offensive line that added All-Pro center Corey Linsley, guard Matt Feiler and rookie tackle Rashawn Slater, one of the top O-linemen in this year's draft, should result in some big chunk plays for Los Angeles.

Rank
1
Shaquil Barrett
Tampa Bay Buccaneers · LB

This is a no-brainer. One of the league's elite pass rushers, Barrett has logged 27.5 sacks (second-most in the NFL, per Next Gen Stats), 127 QB pressures (second) and caused 12 turnovers by QB pressures (first) over the last two seasons, including an NFL-leading 19.5 sacks in 2019. He set the tone for Todd Bowles' defense in the Buccaneers' Super Bowl run and was rewarded this offseason with a four-year, $68 million deal. There's no way GM Jason Licht and head coach Bruce Arians were letting this disruptive force walk out the door.

Follow Shaun O'Hara on Twitter.

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